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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Abate with the Tim Ray Trio: Road to Forever

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Greg Abate's name isn't often broached when debating the merits of contemporary jazz saxophonists. It should be. While perhaps best known for his work on alto, the Rhode Island-based swinger proves on Road to Forever, recorded with his regular working trio, not only that his talents on soprano, tenor sax and flute are exemplary, but that he is equally adept as a composer / arranger. Each of the ten songs on Road to Forever was written and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Diamond: Avenida Graham

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Brooklyn-based jazz guitarist Greg Diamond issues his most culturally diverse musical mosaic on Avenida Graham reflecting a blend of jazz and the Latin sound that has been an influential part of his life. Being half Eastern European Jewish and half Colombian, Diamond long ago learned to appreciate the Latin sounds listening to the music of Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon as he immersed himself in the jazz idiom later on. Living near Graham Avenue (aka Avenue of Puerto Rico) and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

TAI No-Orchestra: TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)

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TAI No-Orchestra is a multi-disciplinary project comprising some of the best improvisers of the Italian scene, both historical figures like Filippo Monico or Roberto Del Piano and new talents like Silvia Bolognesi and Paolo Botti. The main originators for this project are musicians Del Piano, Massimo Falascone and photographer Roberto Masotti; the name “TAI" refers to “Terra Australis Incognita," an imaginary southern continent which appeared on early maps of the world, later symbolizing unknown or unexplored territories. These starting points ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marbin: Goat Man & The House of the Dead

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It's truly been fun to watch Marbin grow and develop over the past few years. Their eponymous, self-released debut album, from way back in 2009, was a duet affair with the two principals--saxophonist Danny Markovitch and guitarist Dani Rabin--plying their talents on a clutch of brief and very intricate instrumentals. Sounding at times like an ECM release gone rogue, the duo's obvious virtuosity and poorly-suppressed manic energy made their subsequent forays into heavy instrumental rock no great surprise. Yet, on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Khan: Backlog

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In what could best be described as an enduring exploration, Steve Khan has undertaken the role of expanding and redefining the role of the guitar in the hybrid genre of Latin Jazz. Backlog continues with the concept established as far back as 2005 on The Green Field (Tone Center), in the transformation of straight-ahead jazz compositions into unique Khan improvisations drawing deeply from the Afro-Cuban tradition. The percussion duo of Marc Quiñones and Bobby Allende have been an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcello Pellitteri: Acceptance

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From branches of sadness have sprouted leaves of affirmation, and these are their songs. As the first in a series of albums dedicated to Marcello Pellitteri's late daughter, Veronica (1991-2014), Acceptance marks a turning point in the renowned drummer's career that no one could have foreseen. Despite its mournful theme, the album is filled with so much light that it feels like nothing less than a catharsis. In a recent email interview, Pellitteri confirmed this impression with the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley/Carson Halley: The Wild

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Saxophonist Rich Halley, home-based in Portland, Oregon, is a relentless creator of fine and oftimes fiery free jazz, averaging, since 2010, about two CD releases per year, including Creating Structure (2015); Eleven (2016); and Outlier, (2016), all on his Pine Eagle Records label. These were quartet outings, featuring like-minded free-jazzers--trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bass man Clyde Reed and Carson Halley, Rich Halley's son, in the drum chair. Add saxophonist Vinny Golia to Outlier to make it a quintet. And it's all ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nate Najar: This Is Nate Najar

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Hailing from St. Petersburg, FL, guitarist Nate Najar unveils his third full length recording for the Candid Records label on the simply-titled This Is Nate Najar where he touches on the music of Chick Corea and Antonio Carlos Jobim as well as delivering a straight jazz sound with several cover tunes and a couple of originals. A fingerstyle guitarist on the acoustic classical guitar, Najar is one of the few in the modern jazz genre utilizing the nylon-string guitar employing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ruthie Foster: Joy Comes Back

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To prove the point that one can go home again, Ruthie Foster returned to the small church in Caldwell, Texas, where she began, singing hymns in the choir, in search of inspiration for Joy Comes Back. For Foster, singing gospel and soul is a birthright, blues and country her second nature; the vast Americana musical landscape being her backyard. After years on the road, Foster chose to record at neighbor and producer Daniel Barrett's studio in Austin, giving ...


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